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alindazip - I agree - I do enjoy a good discussion.  Al and I may disagree on this point, but we still share a common love for the sport.

And Al, I may not agree with your opinion on this one, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Shiny side up, guys - Happy sledding!!

Scott/thundercatzr
 

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So now I feel like logic is beginning to surface. I'll explain, not to justify what I have done, only to show that what I do CAN be done safely.

You are assuming that we would try running in a pack at speed in the presence of others. Not the case. Nothing will break us up quicker, there are simply not enough options available (honestly that can be a comedy, but would happen well before approaching traffic came close enough to make a difference. Scrambling within a pack is always a topic at a break after forming a pack has been possible. ) You are assuming we don't have control because hitting our brakes would cause an accident, also not true. This happens all the time, to the point where the guy in front of you could possibly and will at times lock up his track. The plan is to look where he looks, see what he sees when he sees it, and act on what you know he is going to do. Your eyes are only a few feet from his. You can see what he sees. Not something you want to try right away, but it can be, and is done all the time (among us). If this isn't possible for whatever reason, you don't have to be on the same line down the trail, but the problem with that is there are only so many lines. Therefore never more than 4 in a pack, 3 is better, with loose blowing snow it might only be safe for 2.  In the case of a misjudgement, and in all honesty it does happen, you head away from center, not always fun.

Believe me, my standards for safety, and the standards agreed upon within our group, wether you chose to believe it or not, are also very high. In the years we have ridden together (there are 7 of us that I would consider running in a pack with, 3 of us, including myself, started riding in 1970) and we have averaged 4000 to 5000 miles a year lately (no, not all of it has been at speed)  none of us, wether in a group or alone, have ever been involved in an accident, on the road or trail, or even received a ticket (on the trail).

AL
 

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Well michahicks I'll ride with you any time, and i also have about 4 buds that will.  
This could go on and on like the drinking post did.(little of topic, but yes I'll have 1 or 2 with my dinner on the trail and thats all)
But i also don't mind cruisind at the legal OFSC speed, which is a whooping 30mph!!  
 

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I agree with you michahicks!  You proved your point perfectly!
 

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zrt600mtncat,
 you are right can you expect the others on the trail to do what you want during big time speed ? when it is said the guys that do excessive speed can trust can trust one another because one knows what the other is doing i guess they must know because they practice their performance as often as the detroit red wings or the toronto raptors.

 the bottom line is excessive speed is not for the trail, it is for the race track. like hockey everyone wants to be like gretzky, sledding like 7c or 68.
 

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Zrt...
Point well taken on the vest. Thanks. I will be a couple notches more  conservative on what I believe are the right conditions for "running at speed" after that situation. You mention your speed has been decreased. For the sake of conversation, To what point? To the point where you can say you aren't "going fast"? Or are you saying that you are more conservative when running at speed? That would agree with my thoughts at this point 100%.

Paul,
I'm sure you know "excessive " is a subjective term.  Your excessive may be well be within my comfort zone, or vice versa. We are not speaking of running at speed in the presence of others. THAT would be excesssive (unless it were a track&#33
.  I couldn't agree more on the unpredictable "other guy". We are talking about the basic speed law. Running well within the "assured clear distance ahead" and having a (little more) realistic awareness of exactly what that consists of...
Not good at watching, would much rather be doing



Guys-
I'd like to take a time out to thank all who have responded with intelligent comments. It's all thought provoking, and I enjoy this immensely. Thinking about something I love as much as snowmobiling, can be nearly as much fun as doing it. And honestly, here in Michigan, that's been most of what we've been able to do (think about it). What a completely cruddy winter.

AL
 

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michahicks,
 everyone disagreed with you, period.
but if it makes you feel better there is another person on the forum that sticks his foot in his mouth also.
 

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I have been rear ended to many times by tailgators and one time I hit the brack to slow down for a sharp corner and looked over my shoulder to see a freind on his brand spanking new 700xcsp rolling over on his lid trying to avoid hitting me.
this is why I either ride behind him or way infront of him with at least 2 other sleds inbetween us.
 

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I just wanted to add my .03 cents to this topic... up till Last year I rode almost exactly like michahicks described, maybe even leaning towards out of control... I always knew that I was in full control of my sled, I was always pushing the edge of my ability, which is fine when the coast is clear, but when the unexpected happens, as it did to me and some friends in the form of a group of sleds parked on a corner that sent me into the trees at about 40 mph... By luck and the grace of god, I made it through the ordeal without a scratch on me or the sled...while airborne I missed a pair of oak trees by inches on both sides.  At the time I cursed those sleds on that corner, and never gave a second thought to my riding habits.  Since I joined this chat forum this year, comments from other riders here have made me think alot about what can happen on the trails, because the unexpected always pops up at the worst moment.  I have read alot of posts here about thinking about your family and other loved ones when you are out riding, and how they want you back in one piece.  I never thought I would let some mushy crap like that change my riding style, but I can honestly say that it has.. Don't get me wrong, I still give it Hel! on the trails, and I have not lost my need for speed, but I am definately riding more conservatively than last year.

My second point... I know we are all seasoned veterans here and would never think of not doing this but for the love of snow PULL YOUR SLEDS OFF THE @#$% TRAIL.  It seems like the most common sense thing, but it never happens. Rarely do I come up on a group of sleds that are all pulled single file into the powder - in a nice open area.  They are always parked on a corner with some guy from the back coming up to talk to the guy in front and they are double parked on the trail.  Please people use your heads.  

OK it was more like 4 cents worth
 

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It all boils down to responsible driving.  It is VERY wrong for people to be parked on the trail.  If you were to hit them, they would have definately been in the wrong no questions asked.  You just have to watch out for other people doing careless stuff like parking on the trail.  IMO
 

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Paul,

Until now this conversation has been on an intelligent, logical level - wether or not they have agreed with me. I thought you were above notes like that, I'm disappointed. Wasn't seeking votes for right or wrong, or somebody to count them.
If I had been, I'd have quit a while ago, and we would have missed out on a lot of stuff that's been written since. There have been a lot of thoughts written to be shared on the subject of speed and responsibility, obviously touchy subjects among riders. That's what it's about Paul, I fail to see the point of taking it to a personal level.

AL
 

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ok I am back from a weekend of riding in tug hill ny  they have something up there called snow.  Have not seen much of it this winter.  anyway to the subject at hand Had and saw  first hand the crazy , stupid or idiot on the trail and would like to share this with everyone.  while crossing an open field on a very wide area of trail MY buddy who is a first time rider was following me we got passed by two sleds going very fast over a slight hump they passed me and had time to get to the right on the hump but the third sled almost hit another sled coming the other way head on
while he was passing me.  I was going about 40 mph the trail went into a wooded area and narrowed down to only enough room for two sleds at best.  It irritated me enough that I did something I normaly would not do and I did it without taking  time to think through .  I punched the throttle and chased those three sleds.  now I ride a 550 twoup panther and I chased those sleds on a very curvy rough narrow wooded trail.  I could tell the guy in front of me was not always in control of his sled and should not have been riding the speed he was riding.  It is a good thing the trail was not long and the two in front of him were waiting at the next intersection.  As  I pulled up beside the three and was going to let them know how stupid I thought they were the rest of the group pulled up  now I am way out numbered ( I might be crazy but I am  no fool
so I kept my mouth shut   They did seem suprized to see a differnt sled in the group  as soon as the rest of the group got there they took off again and I waited for my buddy .  MY buddy told me that the guy I followed just missed the other sled by inches.    Now I am wondering was I wrong to chase them?  I ended up doing the same thing that I was upset at them for.  although I was following at a safe distance to stop if the guy in front crashed or if  he would have hit anyone coming the other way.  I did find out that a 550 panther will keep up with that person even though he was riding a faster sled.  and I did enjoy the thrill of riding to the max of the sled and my ability.  
However keep in mind I would not ever even think of riding on that trail like that if I were the first sled.   MY question is and I would like some opions and what would you do in a situation like that?   I am not sure that I was totaly wrong and yet I am not sure I was right.
 

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Alindazip you were right to do it. Last year me and a buddy were going thru a tight woody trail going at a safe pace maybe 30 he was in front comeing to a blind corner and all of a sudden this sled comes flying at us we all locked tracks trying to brake and the back of the guys sled and mine were maybe 6 inches apart. The only thing that kept us from chasing him down was we couldn't turn around.
 

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Man, we are getting right down to it aren't we? Passing is a whole new can of worms bound to bring some passion in among us. I know I have some pretty strong feelings about this. I'm wondering if we shouldn't start a new string though?

AL
 

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Hanging out in the middle of the trail is like standing in the middle of an highway it's no place to be NOT A GOOD PRACTICE. Can't think of any reason why I would have my child in the middle of the road  . Can you thundercatzr?
 

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snow ryde - I don't understand your question directed to me.  Care to expand so I might respond?

I can't understand why I would have my child in the middle of the road either, nor do I understand why you might think I do.  I am not an idiot

If you think I disagreed with Al (Michahicks) concerning people being in the middle of the trail, I never did.  He is right - those people were idiots.  No one should be on the trail.  Al and I just disagree on riding styles - we had a fine discussion and agreed to disagree on that point alone.

Have I missed something here?
 

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sorry thundercatzr I should have read all the responses on this topics  before directing my comment toward you .  Won't happen again . I guess I didn't get the point Al was trying to make anyway .But I do know this that people who stop in the middle of the trail anywhere in a corner,before a corner, after a corner, on a straight away doesn't matter where are the irresponsible ones and affect alot more riders on the trail then a few buddies running on each others bumbers .             RYDE LIKE THE WIND
 

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snow ryde - "and affect alot more riders on the trail then a few buddies running on each others bumbers "

On that I agree 100%.  Stopping in, or on the trail is an accident waiting to happen.  No place for it.

"ryde" safe buddy!
 

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Guys,
Please join us, new string, passing. Would love to hear your thoughts.
AL
 

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michahicks, You must realize by now that people want to disaggree with you, therefore they make their own sinerio(sp)... not even realizing what you are trying to say.
I read your 1st post, I understand, I agree,  It's simple but people want to make it hard... maybe it makes them feel smarter pointing out things they think you do not know, i dunno.
 
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